Philadelphia dog bite attorney Rand Spear says dog bites can lead to serious physical injuries and psychological trauma. Dog owners may be held responsible
With about 4.5 million people becoming victims of dog bites each year and up to 70% of them being children, the problem of aggressive, dangerous dogs is something many of us have had to deal with. Philadelphia dog bite lawyer Rand Spear has represented many such victims during his more than thirty years of practice and can help those coping with dog bites. He spoke on a podcast available on YouTube about the issues facing dog bite victims.
Spear says as the weather warms up the number of dog bites increases. “When it’s cold out the owners put the dog on a leash and they take the dog for a walk. The dogs are under control at all times and these types of injuries are kept to a minimum. In the summer the dogs are left in the yard and owners become much more relaxed as far as controlling their dogs,” Philadelphia dog bite attorney Spear says.
This lack of control and increased aggression by dogs results in injuries to many people, especially children. “Children very often are getting bitten by dogs because they’re not aware of the dog’s propensity to violence and the owner is putting the dog close to the children, not taking necessary precautions and all of a sudden there’s a terrible incident,” Spear says.
He says the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that by age 12 half of all children in the U.S. will have suffered a dog bite. “Unfortunately a lot of the bites seem to be in the facial area causing permanent nerve damage and scarring. It’s really very important to take immediate action, get the child or whoever has been bitten to a hospital right away.” Spear says other concerns are possible infections including rabies.
Philadelphia dog bite attorney Rand Spear says Pennsylvania laws concerning dog bites distinguish between dogs that have had prior bad behavior, unless the injuries are severe. Whether there was a prior history of violence or not owners of violent dogs can be held liable for medical expenses. “When you look at the facts of a particular case there is usually enough evidence of negligence so we are able to go after the owner and we are able to seek compensation for what happened to our client,” Spear says.
“As far as damages, in some cases the medical bills are quite large, there’s a scarring and nerve damage, there’s a lot of injuries that happens. Usually we look at the owner’s homeowner’s insurance policy because generally speaking on someone’s homeowner policy it will cover this type of injury. If they live in an apartment building perhaps the owner of the apartment has some responsibility. Maybe they knew about this particular animal and his propensity to cause harm and allowed it to remain in the apartment,” Spear says.
He says the injuries to dog bite victims go beyond physical damage. “The psychological portion of it should never be ignored. We always discuss that with the parents or to the guardian when they come in. We want to give the child every opportunity to recover from what happened to them and a lot of times they don’t eat well and they stopped performing well in school and they don’t want to go outside and play with their friends because they’re afraid they are going to be attacked again.”
After taking a dog bite case Philadelphia dog bite attorney Rand Spear says they want to get pictures of the dog and the scarring, interview any witnesses, get to know as much information about the dog as possible and the circumstances of the attack.
“We put everyone on notice about any potential responsibility or liability and we want to start to talk to the insurance companies and let them know what our intentions are. We try to resolve it and if we can’t then we probably want to bring a lawsuit, present the evidence and we usually have good success record with these types of cases.”
Spear suggests to try to avoid suffering a dog bite if the dog is not secured or attended; if the owner is there ask if it’s OK to approach and touch the dog before doing so. People should always be vigilant around dogs they’re not familiar with.
If you or a family member is suffering due to a dog bite, Philadelphia dog bite attorney Rand Spear is available to help those living in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. His phone number is 888-373-4LAW.